Is Malwarebytes Better than Windows Defender

The topic of Malwarebytes and other security software seems to come up a lot these days due to the ever-increasing need for security and protection on the internet.  Malwarebytes has made a name for itself as a true contender in the antivirus and antimalware market.

But with Windows Operating System being equipped with a free antivirus, is there a need to install a third-party tool like Malwarebytes? When comparing the two applications, one being free and the other for a fee, it’s fair to ask, is Malwarebytes better than Windows Defender?

That’s what we’re going to find out in this article.  Let’s go through the full details and see which ones check out better.

Let’s Look at Malwarebytes

Malwarebytes logo

I did a full product review of Malwarebytes, where I give more details about Malwarebytes, the good, the bad, and everything else in between.  Be sure to check that out if you want more information.

A relatively newcomer to the antivirus space, Malwarebytes has both a free trial version and a Premium version.  The free version is only for 14 days, after that you would need to upgrade to their Premium version.

Their Premium version has several features that’ll keep your system safe, protected, and then some.

Individual and Business Plans

In most cases, you’re going to install Malwarebytes for your individual computer.  However, they also have plans that’ll handle a business environment to protect multiple computers simultaneously.  They’ve made themselves versatile enough to cover different types of working environments, as well as for individuals.  That wasn’t the case over 17 years ago when they first arrived on the scene as software that can only remove malware.

They only had one version, and it was primarily aimed to support individual computers.

For business environments, they now have what they called Malwarebytes for Teams.   For smaller businesses that want to take advantage of the Malwarebytes “business package” without having to spend too much, this is a great option for them. 

And of course, they have more advanced packages for enterprise operations.  There’s Malwarebytes Endpoint Protection and Malwarebytes Endpoint Detection and Response.  That requires a consultation so they can 

Is Malwarebytes Worth Paying for?

When compared to other players in the market, Malwarebytes tends to be more on the pricey side.  You can get Malwarebytes Premium for around $49.99 per device per year.  Other competitors in the market can offer similar services as Malwarebytes for cheaper.  It can also be said that competitors can offer more devices to be protected under the same yearly plan, similar to what Malwarebytes charges for just one device, for the same price.

But is cheaper better?

Sure other software products can offer more features for a lower price as Malwarebytes.  But is the quality of protection the same as with Malwarebytes? 

That’s really where your focus should be.

Paying just a few dollars less may mean you save some money on the front end.  But end up having to spend more money recovering from a virus or malware attack, because you opt for “cheaper” security software.

Sometimes the trade-off for a cheaper product is not always beneficial for you in the long run. 

Overview of Windows Defender

Microsoft Windows Defender

Windows Defender is a built-in security feature of Windows 10 and 11 that helps protect your computer from malware and other threats. It is turned on by default and runs in the background to help keep you safe.  Nothing is needed from you to start using it because it comes pre-loaded with Windows.

Windows Defender also includes a “real-time” protection feature that can detect and block threats as they happen.  So it can keep you protected and does a pretty good job of it, which is pretty nice.  And the best part of course is that it’s all free.

Overall I think Microsoft did a good job improving the features of Windows Defender (also called Microsoft Defender) and making it a better security software.

I think it was from years of customers complaining that their computers are plagued with viruses, and Microsoft finally started listening.  As it seems most if not all viruses and malware are targeted at Windows-based computers.

Having a preloaded antivirus that comes free with Windows I think is a nice touch.

Another improved feature that all parents would appreciate is that of parental controls.  Actually, this is a feature that’s built into Windows Operating System itself, but you can get to it from the Windows Defender settings area.

This feature simply allows parents to control how much time their kids can spend using the computer, and what they use while on the computer.  Having this modification feature is definitely a plus in my opinion, as kids can spend a lot of time browsing the internet and becoming victims of all kinds of predators lurking on the internet.

Overall Windows Defender is good enough to take care of most security issues on your computer.  It’ll take care of the things that free software should be taking care of.

But for more security features, Windows Defender would not be the best option to go with.  I would recommend you opt for third-party software like Malwarebytes.

Can Windows Defender and Malwarebytes Co-exist?

The quick answer here is yes, they can coexist.

In fact, many experts recommend using both programs together for the best protection.  Windows Defender is good at detecting and removing “common malware”, the ones that are easier to find and remove.  On the other hand, Malwarebytes is better at detecting more “sophisticated and targeted” attacks. 

Malware can get much more granular than Windows Defender.

So by using both programs together, you’re essentially getting the best of both worlds.  As a quick glance, here are a few things to keep in mind when using Windows Defender and Malwarebytes together.

  • Compatibility: As mentioned, Windows Defender and Malwarebytes are compatible and can be used on the same system simultaneously.
  • Scanning: Malwarebytes will scan for different types of malware than Windows Defender.
  • Features: Windows Defender offers real-time protection against malware, while Malwarebytes will do the same, but may have to be manually initiated to detect what Windows Defender is not able to.

One of the better features of Malwarebytes is that it’s compatible with most other security software, a competitive advantage most other security software don’t have.  Under normal circumstances, installing two different antivirus software on the same computer is a no-no.  Most of them don’t play nice together, and one would need to be un-installed.

Not so with Malwarebytes.  They are the exception in this case.


To recap and provide my own two cents.  We’ve discovered that Malwarebytes is a software company that produces antimalware software.  It scans the computer for malware and removes it.  You can download the free version to give it a try for 14 days, or you can just opt for the paid version, and get access to all the features it offers.

The paid version, for example, scan for malware on an infected USB drive. The free version does not have this feature, among other limited features.

Windows Defender is the built-in antimalware software that comes pre-loaded with Microsft Windows Operating System.  It has more features than the free version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, but fewer features than the paid version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware.

Windows Defender is included in Windows, so there is no cost to use it. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware must be purchased separately if you do decide you like it and want more security features.

Malwarebytes is a popular choice, as it tends to do a better job than most other paid security software on the market.  Windows Defender is a good option to start with.  It will take care of the basic security needs as a free protection.  But Malwarebytes will give you more features and options for getting rid of viruses and malware.

In my opinion, you can get by using Windows Defender.  But if you had a really bad case of malware attack, your best bet is to get the premium version of Malwarebytes.



antivirus, Computer security, malware, Malwarebytes, Microsoft defender, virus, windows defender

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